June 17, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 56, Joe DiMaggio (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

Joe DiMaggio was in the midst of a nasty little slump when he took the field on May 15, 1941. He felt like he was hitting the ball pretty hard, but all luck had abandoned him. He was cracking line drives right at shortstops. He was smashing would-be doubles that were just within the reach of outfielders. He wondered when the cloud of bad luck would pass.

On May 13, he faced Cleveland’s Bob Feller, and he went hitless, and luck had nothing to do with it. After the game, he muttered: “I don’t think anybody’s ever going to throw a ball faster than Feller does. And his curve? It ain’t human.”

So when May 15 began, DiMaggio was in a foul mood. The…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 56, Joe DiMaggio” at The Athletic